Sunday, February 25, 2018 Elyria 45°


Thief breaks down adult store door with semi, steals $800 sex toy


BROWNHELM TWP. - Early Monday, a man drove a stolen semi through the AdultMart and made off with a pricey, life-like adult toy mimicking the female anatomy.

And if this sparks a sense of deja vu, that's because it's happened before.

In September 2009, a man drove a car through the same store and took a similar item, albeit a far less costly model.

"This time it wasn't a car - this time it was a tractor-trailer," said April Hoopes, area manager for the Cleveland AdultMart stores.

The one item taken this time was a life-sized model of female genitalia and legs that costs $799. During the 2009 break-in, a man examined a similar adult toy worth $300 before putting it down and picking up the $150 version. He was never caught.

Surveillance video at the store at 49150 Cooper Foster Park Road shows a man pulling behind the store in a tractor-trailer just after 2 a.m. and backing into the rear doors two or three times, Hoopes said. She said corporate management did not wish to release the video at this time because it could give someone a "how-to" for a possible future break-in.

The man was white and wore a blue hooded sweatshirt with a red shirt under it. Hoopes said the video did not clearly capture his face.

In Monday's incident, like in 2009, the man "seemed to know right what he was going for," Hoopes said.

Sheriff's Capt. Jim Drozdowski said the two incidents probably were not related to one another despite being very similar. He noted that incidents of people using vehicles to break down doors were fairly common.

Hoopes added that items in the store were recently rearranged, so "he's obviously been in here recently."

Elyria police said the thief stole the red semi, without a trailer attached, from JT Container, an industrial container recycling facility located at 225 Woodford Ave. in Elyria. He had also spray-painted over the company's logo, possibly to make it more difficult to identify, police said.

Deputies located the vehicle at 3:52 a.m. close to where it had been taken from, near the Arnco/A -D Technologies plant, 860 Garden St., down the block from JT Container. The thief was still in the vehicle at the time, but he jumped out and took off running down the train tracks, police said.

"The guy bailed out of the tractor and took off," Drozdowski said. "They didn't catch him."

A mud flap left at the store belonged to the recovered vehicle, Drozdowski said.

John Tirbaso, the recycling facility's owner, said the driver had forgotten the keys in the truck when he parked it at the end of a wooded driveway. The truck, he said, wasn't visible from the road.

The suspect used the semi to run over two metal gates at the entrance to the facility, and the truck had sustained damage to the front grill, hood and front lights.

Neither Tirbaso nor Hoopes had damage estimates available for their respective properties.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at 329-7123 or

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